Rock Island Crews Work to Keep Streets Clear, Safer - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Rock Island Crews Work to Keep Streets Clear, Safer

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Another snowfall this weekend is another reminder to clear snow routes or risk your car getting towed.

We've seen more than 30 snow events so far this season.The last two, happening within days of each other, causing problems for drivers who have to clear snow routes and those who park on them. Rock Island Public Works Director Randy Tweet says, "Usually what happens is at the beginning of the year people start moving, and then they get complacent." Leaving cars parked on snow routes, forcing crews to ticket, or even tow.

We saw it happen Thursday afternoon in Rock Island. The driver of the car says he is new to the neighborhood and didn't see the snow route signs. But his neighbor watched it happen. Tim Barnes says he saw the car in the street for days. "I was upset." Barnes tells us Tuesday's snow had him parking in the garage instead of his usual spot on the street. "It's just common sense, common sense. It says no parking to two inches. Don't park there."

It's also a problem. Plows can't clear roads, usually busy ones, on a first pass. They have to make return trips. Snow plows have to swerve around parked cars and potentially into traffic. And cars driving away leave ruts and compacted slush behind in the streets. Tweet says, "On this storm where it stayed cold and it's just the day after, it's pretty easy to clear. If you get where the temperature warms up and then it freezes again, then it turns into ice and then it's a little more difficult."

He says the same applies to smaller, secondary streets.  "There's some of those that if a car's been parked there, probably haven't touched it all year," Tweet tells us. Those streets are now narrower than they typically are, tough for two cars to pass on or for a plow to even get to. "Usually there's a dozen or so streets we can't get down," Tweet says. "And we go back the next day with a smaller truck, but it doesn't do the same job that a big truck does."

He says there is one main message. When there is accumulating snow on the street, move your car off of it. Tweet says, "We don't want to ticket and tow anybody." But his crews will. He says they issued 34 tickets during this last snow event and towed four cars. Tweet says they spent Thursday back-tracking, finishing up streets they couldn't get to the day before.